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The data below is the result of a joint investigation by Mother Jones and Ted Miller, an economist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. Based on Miller’s work identifying and quantifying the societal impacts of gun violence, the annual price tag comes to at least $229 billion a year (based on 2012 data). That includes $8.6 billion in direct spending—from emergency care and other medical expenses to court and prison costs—as well as $221 billion in less tangible “indirect” costs, which include impacts on productivity and quality of life for victims and their communities. (See the rest of our special investigation here.)

gun violence costs charts
gun violence costs charts
gun violence costs charts
gun violence costs charts
gun violence costs charts
gun violence costs charts
gun violence costs charts
gun violence costs charts
gun violence costs charts
gun violence costs charts
gun violence costs charts
See more of our special investigation:

Sources

Guns kill 33,000…: Centers for Disease Control

Total cost of gun violence: Ted Miller

Gun casualties: Centers for Disease Control

Gun violence costs more than $700 per American…: Ted Miller (per capita and total cost); ForeignAssistance.gov (foreign aid); Forbes (Apple); Office of Management and Budget (Medicaid); Surgeon General (smoking)

How it all adds up: Ted Miller (indirect and direct costs, price of one murder), Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation

Direct costs: Ted Miller

Cost of gun violence per state: Ted Miller

Black/white gun victims: Centers for Disease Control

Guns used in 70% of homicides…: Centers for Disease Control, Harvard School of Public Health (suicide attempts), Ted Miller (total costs)

84% of gun homicide victims…: Centers for Disease Control

Gun deaths and car accidents: Centers for Disease Control

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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